Dental Treatment Offers Hope Reducing Your Risk Of Heart Disease And Stroke
ORAL HEALTH & HEART DISEASE
What’s the link between gum disease and heart disease?
Well several plausible theories exist. One suggests that bacteria from the mouth affect the heart by using the blood stream or circulatory system to hitch a ride. Once these bacteria, that have taken a ride on the body’s public transit system, get to the heart they latch onto the walls of the heart blood vessels.
Here the bacteria often find the heart blood vessels or coronary arteries have fatty layers called plaques. These fatty plaques form for a number of reasons but one of the chief reasons is thought to be inflammation. The bacteria invade the walls of the blood vessels near the fatty plaques. This creates more inflammation, which brings more fat as a healing response causing thickening of the blood vessel walls and restricting blood flow.
The build-up fat in blood vessel walls is called an atheroma. If a piece of the fat breaks loose it will probably get stuck in the smaller blood vessels of the heart causing a massive blockage or increasing the chances of a blood clot forming. If the blood vessel gets blocked oxygen and nutrients do not get to the heart muscle that the vessel feeds. That portion of the heart starts to die and creates a “heart attack”.
The take home message is that keeping your death clean and your gums healthy may well help you stave off a heart attack. It requires excellent home care and regular ingoing dental therapy and supervision.
This information is adapted from the American Academy Of Periodontology’s pubic information area on their website. The Academy is the organization responsible for overseeing the education and training of dentists that desire to specialize in the treatment of gum disease also known as periodontal disease.